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Recent Tasting Notes
I’m back with my tea collection at home again! For a couple months anyway. I went to steep this one up today and thought.. “heeeyyyy, hmmmmm, this starts with ‘A’, maybe I should do another alphabet challenge to get a lightning round of sipdowns in”. So why not?! This is a very decent apricot tea. I am just not sure I NEED an apricot tea in my cupboard. But this was a very awesome sample anyway.
2023 sipdowns: 56
From Michelle! Thanks so much! An apricot tea on a black base with some matching colored (to apricot) safflower petals. And the apricot flavoring is not lacking — plenty of it here, and then some of that apricot left over in the second steep! It’s a bit of a candy flavored apricot. The base tea seems to really just be a background for the flavors, a little bit of a thin black tea. However, I didn’t see any actual fruit chunks in my sample like the photo shows, so maybe it would have made it even more apricot delicious? But if you’re craving apricot, this suits. Pretty straightforward here.
Steep #1 // 1 heaping teaspoon for a full mug // 22 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 minute steep
Advent Tea: Day 10 from Michelle
I really enjoyed this chai and I even thought it tasted good before I added milk to it. The spices are well-balanced here and aren’t overpowering. A lot of chai blends have competing spices or just an overpowering amount that you need to add milk to in order to smooth out the flavors. The ginger and cardamom in this one come through and it’s not a clove heavy blend. The base tea wasn’t astringent or bitter either.
Well it seems I am waaaay behind on reading tea notes, so I have some catching up to do! I succumbed to Maya’s 25% off iced teas to place an order of this Apricot tea as it steeps 3 times and my original bag was getting low. The tea smells wonderful and tastes like apricot with a slight bitter edge, but its one of the flavored teas that I enjoy so I ‘needed’ more. As if I need more tea!
This one from Maya is a bit underwhelming, the blackberry flavor is a bit sour on the first brew, and weaker on the second brew. It could be I’m brewing it too strong, or its better as an iced tea. I will experiment with the rest of the pouch, but I wouldn’t need more of this tea.
Flavors: Sage, Sour
This is a very tasty and infinitely drinkable Chai. I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan of spicy chai tea, and this one is mellow enough with ginger and cardamom notes that two steeps disappeared rather quickly this morning. Not complex, but rather a soothing and well blended chai that I will purchase again.
Flavors: Cardamom, Clove, Ginger
This is a nice chai. It’s a nice blend of flavors with the main notes being cardamom and cinnamon. I do wish the base tea was a little stronger. Even steeping for five minutes there isn’t a lot of malt or bready notes going on in my cup. That said, I enjoy this as a simple, spicy chai, and I’m sure I’ll have no problem making my way through my bag.
Flavors: Cardamom, Cinnamon, Ginger
Did I love the name of this one! Vanilla! Mint! I had to try it. Sadly, there is Eleuthero Root in this blend, which to my tastebuds is very medicinal flavored and it’s drowning out my dreams of what I wish this tea to be. I hardly taste any vanilla and what should be peppermint tastes like spearmint to me. There should also be honeybush here, but I don’t notice it. Maybe that is where the vanilla flavor is located. So whatever Eleuthero Root is has kind of ruined this one. But again, happy to find all this out for the small price of one dolla.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for a full mug // 35 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 30 min after boiling // 2 min
Flavors: Medicinal, Spearmint
From the Cinco de Mayo sale from last year. I’m trying to write some notes for the last few teas before then, if they happen to have a sale again this year (though I will be refraining from that sale this time around.) This is a decent example of English Breakfast. I can tell it is NOT just Ceylon, and looking up the info, I’m correct. It still isn’t the best black tea I have ever had, but it’s a mix of Ceylon, Chinese and Indian teas. There is a sweetness here, dried hay, and when it cools, hints of stonefruits. The second steep gets a bit more bitey, but retains that fresh fruit quality, then maybe hazelnuts. (I notice a flavor note from another Steepsterer says “nutty”.) Worth trying for a dollar!
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug // 24 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 minute steep
On another note, it looks like Maya Tea is going allergen free, so they have many good blends on sale to make room for new recipes.
Flavors: Hay, Hazelnut, Stonefruit
additional notes: I really wanted to buy more of this one, since I liked it so much from their one ounce pouch sale a couple years ago. I tried the old harvest again to remind myself what I loved about it. It’s so sweet and malty. This harvest seems like a different tea! Less sweet and malty and more like a brisk traditional assam. But also it seems more like the flavor profile of keemun?! I tried using the same steep parameters with the old and new harvests. I do like the older one better, but the new harvest isn’t bad either. Just seems like every other assam I’ve ever had.
Happy St. Patrick’s day! I’m trying to think of some appropriate teas to have today… hmm.. This one is from a few days ago: A tea I’m glad I caught in the Cinco de Mayo sale and it is almost that time again. This is a lovely unique assam. Or maybe it’s just NEW so it tastes distinctive to me. Remember FRESH teas? I miss them. The flavor is brisk yet sweet, dark berries, maybe blackberries with red wine. Very good. I wish I had a big bag. But then the resteep tastes bland despite it being a bit too oversteeped. It basically just tastes astringent after the deliciousness of the first steep. I have to watch that on the resteeps in the future…
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug // 20 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 min
One of my favorite things about this lengthy Christmas break from work has been the time to have tea in the afternoon. Just have tea. Not tea and the afternoon’s load of desk work, not tea and a meeting, not tea left to get cold while I scramble around doing housework, just tea. And for these pleasant, non-multitasking breaks, I’ve been trying to choose teas that have been shared, swapped, gifted, or hand-selected so that I can appreciate them.
And I did appreciate this one! (Especially to calm down after a crazy run to Walmart—not only New Year’s Eve shopping, but frigid weather on the way—the bread and milk crowd was out, too.)
The mojito scent jumped right out of the bag, and carried forward nicely when it steeped. As far as the pomegranate: From childhood, I have never been a very good fruit or vegetable eater. Thus, my quality time with real pomegranates has been limited to “pomegranate flavor,” which always comes through to me as vaguely fruity and artificial. In this blend, I got fruity but not artificial—a nice change of pace.
I think this was a sample from Lexie Aleah, and if I’ve mixed up my donors, I apologize! May you all finish the year well, content, and at peace.
Mastress Alita’s sipdown challenge Sunday, December 12th: Universal Health Coverage Day Tea #1
I haven’t had this from my Maya Tea order yet… and it’s one of the only “Health” teas I have. So why not try it today? From the scent alone, I can tell this is a “health” tea rather than a tasty tea. Very fine and crumbled ingredients and smells very medicinal. The ingredients: Alfalfa Leaf, Astralagus, Licorice Root, Organic Echinacea, Tulsi Leaf. The flavor is about as good as an immunity tea would taste like. A bit of spicy and sweet, but mostly like licorice so I don’t love it… I’m not sure how much it would boost immunity, but it can’t hurt. The second steep is sweeter, not too bad flavored, better than I expected.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon // 24 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min
Gong fu session. Advent Tea. Day something of something. I’m actually on my third gaiwan. This is a great earthy black tea with overarching woodsy notes.
On a side note if you’re looking for a good Christmas movie to add to your repertoire look up Klaus on Netflix. This one gets astringent fairly quickly so maybe doing it western style is preferred. This third steeping is lacking a bit of the depth that the first two had. Earthy aroma. Wet deciduous forest.
Thought I’d save enough for another cup tomorrow but sometimes today is tomorrow so I’m drinking it this afternoon. Right now. Definitly could have used more leaf and I prefer it gong fu style. More of the earthy wet wood tones come out.
This is a pretty decent, easy to drink chai. It’s not very spicy. I taste licorice and some ginger. It doesn’t have any tea in it, not even rooibos, so I do feel that it’s lacking a little body. With milk, it’s pretty mild, but enjoyable. I like to pair it with soy milk to try to overpower the incredibly strong licorice a little. The more I drink of this, the more I really do enjoy it.
On some sips, I think this is okay, but on others, a little muddled. It’s decently spicy, and it doesn’t lack body, despite being herbal. The strongest flavors might be ginger and clove. There’s just something a little off below. It sort of reminds me of weed, which is a flavor I really don’t want in tea. Maybe that’s the rooibos, I’m not sure. It tastes okay with milk and sugar, but after three cups of this, I don’t know if I’d want it again.
Ashmanra’s sipdown challenge – August 2023 Tea #7 – An impulse buy tea
This will fit for the “impulse buy” prompt! But to me, if I buy any tea, isn’t it ALWAYS an impulse buy?? Lord knows I don’t NEED to buy more tea. I really liked my sample I bought a couple years ago and this new harvest seems the same. How could I not love this one? Assam, Keemun and Yunnan are some of my favorite black tea types and when they combine with Darjeeling 2nd flush, they all just really mingle in a really unique flavor combination. And the name is perfect for this blend! Glad I bought another two ounces.
I’ve always wanted to try this one because I thought the name was interesting for a tea! The four horsemen… isn’t the first name you’d think of for a tea, but it’s quite evocative. The idea here is four different black teas in this blend! I like it already… I hardly meet a black tea I don’t like… AND none of the four are Ceylon, so it’s probably going to be a winner for me. The four: Assam Fine Tippy Golden Flower Orange Pekoe, Keemun, Yunnan, and Darjeeling second flush. I can definitely see the darjeeling leaf in there – it isn’t much, just a speckle here and there. And the Darjeeling definitely adds an extra fragrant element to the flavor! If I had to pick a “four horsemen” of the black teas it could probably very well include assam, keemun, and yunnan and I’m not sure on the fourth tea I’d pick but the Darjeeling works here. The flavor is great — definitely a strong, rich breakfast tea but not really astringent. It has a sweetness to it. I can definitely taste the keemun, but overall it’s a nice balance. Also a great solid second steep. I hope Maya keeps this one around, as I’m a fan.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a big mug // 25 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 2 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Hot and plain, I found this a bit boring, but I added some almond milk, and that improved it slightly. The vanilla needs to be amped way up. And it might need something else to make it more exciting too. It’s just sort of a flat, boring cup. It’s mostly rooibos, and I enjoy rooibos, but this particular one isn’t tasty enough.
This doesn’t taste how I expected. It has somewhat of a cider thing going on with tart fruit and mild spice. I drink it cold, and it’s decently complex and enjoyable. Sometimes it has a sparkly sort of soda quality. I don’t like the scent of this one, and the resteep is weird too, but the flavor is pretty nice! I guess I’d call the flavor spiced cranberry soda.
This one definitely needs a short steep, otherwise it’s quite tart and generic. I steep it for under three minutes, then add sugar and put it in the fridge. I mean, I guess it still tastes generic, but it’s drinkable. It has the usual red fruit flavor without any intrigue. It’s frustrating just how much sugar I have to add to tame the tartness. I’ve had one tasty cup of this and three annoying ones.
There is a sweetness about this tea that makes it go down nice and smooth, easy drinking and you don’t even realize there is nothing more left in your cup. It’s not that strong of a licorice taste, but I like licorice so I don’t mind the taste. The tulsi comes through, with a tart vegetal note, and I’m not sure what else I’m tasting here. If I buy more of this I would mix it with chamomile for a sleepytime blend, or maybe try it iced. The instructions say drink this hot, but I’ve never been good at following the rules. I do see another Maya Tea order in my near future as their podcast Steeping Around makes the tea all sound delicious and they include the history of each tea so I am learning things as well. Apparently I won’t be good at sticking to a tea budget this year either, lol.
Flavors: Licorice, Tulsi